Honda spreads its wings into Southeast Asia's private jet market

By Ha Thu   May 23, 2017 | 07:00 pm GMT+7
Honda spreads its wings into Southeast Asia's private jet market
Honda Motor's HondaJet business airplane is seen at Honda Aircraft Company in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. Photo by Reuters

With the fastest growing 'super rich' group in the world, Vietnam is going to be a prime target for the HondaJet.

Honda Motor has announced plans to start selling its HondaJet private aircraft in several Southeast Asian markets to capitalize on the region's economic growth.

The Japanese automaker said on Monday that it has chosen Thai Aerospace Services (TAS) as its first-ever HondaJet dealer in Southeast Asia.

"We see great potential for the HondaJet in Southeast Asia, one of the world's fastest growing regions," Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino said in a company report.

TAS will provide sales, service and support for HondaJet customers in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore, said the report.

The seven-passenger HondaJet aircraft first hit the market in December 2015, and orders have topped 100, according to Nikkei.

The design places the engines above the wings, granting the plane more interior space. Other selling points include speed and fuel efficiency.

Honda has dealerships in North America, Latin America and Europe, and the company had delivered 41 jets as of mid-April.

Vietnam’s ultra-rich population is growing faster than any economy in the world, and is on track to continue leading the growth in the next decade.

The Wealth Report by the U.K.’s independent real estate consultancy Knight Frank found there are 200 ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI) in Vietnam, who are defined as people with investable assets of at least $30 million, excluding personal assets and property such as a primary residence, collectibles and consumer durables.

In Vietnam, this super rich group grew by 320 percent between 2000 and 2016, the fastest in the world compared to India’s 290 percent and China’s 281 percent, the report said.

The number is expected to continue rising to 540, or by 170 percent, by 2026, the highest growth rate in the world. Millionaires in Vietnam are expected to jump to 38,600 from 14,300 over the same period.